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Is It Correct to Say “Big Thanks”?

There are many ways you can express selfless, deep appreciation. The most common expression of gratitude is “Thank you,” and there are different versions of it. 

It is correct to say “big thanks” as an informal phrase in communication, but “big thanks” is not a complete sentence. It is acceptable to place it with a subject and verb to create a complete sentence. “Thanks” is a shorter, informal version of “Thank you,” and you can pair it with adjectives like “big” to make the expression stronger. 

If you want to understand how to show gratitude with a simple statement like “big thanks,” continue reading. We will examine the proper ways to use the expression and look at some additional ways to say “thanks.”

What Does “Big Thanks” Mean?

“Big thanks” is the informal, plural version of “a big thank you” (source). If you want to amplify the degree of your appreciation, you could add “big” in front of the word “thanks.” 

Adjectives modify nouns, and we usually place them before a noun. For example, the adjective “big” means large in size or degree (source).  

An example would be, “I’d like to extend a big thank you to all who helped with the bake sale today.” 

The adjective “big” would work the same with “thanks” because it is the informal, plural version of “thank you” (source). Here’s an example: We’d like to extend a big thanks to all the parents who took part in the bake sale this week.”

Is It Correct to Say “Big Thanks”?

It is appropriate to say the phrase “Big thanks” casually to thank somebody, but remember that it is technically a phrase, not a complete sentence.

Native speakers usually use “Thanks” alone when they want to express gratitude to a family member or friend because it sounds more casual — for example, “Thanks for letting me borrow your car this evening.” 

We treat the expression “Big thanks” the same way. It is perfectly fine to say, “I’ve been through so many tough injuries this year. Big thanks to all my family and friends who have helped me through.” You can also say, “Big thanks to everybody who made my birthday weekend special.”

Just remember that these phrases are casual in nature and not something you should use in formal contexts or as complete sentences. 

Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Big Thanks”?

We consider “big thanks” as an informal expression, so it would not be appropriate to use the phrase in formal writing. However, it is grammatically correct as long as you use it as part of a complete sentence.  

Phrases are words in groups of two or more working as a unit in a sentence to express a literal or concrete meaning unless it’s an idiom. They don’t convey a complete thought, though, so using “Big thanks” alone in formal writing would be incorrect.

You could say that you’d like to extend “a big thank you,” adding the indefinite article “a,” along with a subject to create a complete sentence. For instance, you could say, “I’d like to extend a big thank you to all my supporters.”

Another good example is, “I want to offer a big thanks to the staff for helping make this day a reality and showing the world how exceptional a company we are.”

How Do You Use “Big Thanks”?

You can create complete sentences using the phrase “big thanks.” You also can use “Big thanks” as a phrase while speaking casually. 

Review these examples using the phrase in a complete sentence:

  • Emma is beautiful and healthy! We want to give a big thanks to our surrogate, Faith!
  • We are sending you big thanks. We greatly appreciate your donation.  
  • My team and I want to take a moment to say big thanks to our fans. 
  • We owe a big thanks to our vet, Mr. Hood. 

Although it is acceptable to say something that begins with the phrase, “big thanks to ___,” be careful to void it in formal writing. There is no subject preceding “big thanks,” so it will be a sentence fragment. Sentence fragments are grammatically incorrect because they lack either a noun or a verb.

These examples demonstrate how you can use the phrase informally in casual conversation:

  • Big thanks to Grandma Anna for sharing her special strawberry shortcake recipe.
  • Sending big thanks to you! I could not have gotten this great opportunity without you.
  • Big thanks to the hostess and her husband Craig for throwing a fabulous party.
  • Big thanks to everybody for the generous graduation gifts!
Image by Kushagra Kevat via Unsplash

 When Can You Use “Big Thanks”?

You can use “big thanks” for semi-formal situations, such as family reunions, weddings, anniversary parties, or other situations when you want to show gratitude for a favor or someone’s kindness.

At weddings or anniversary parties, it is common for the special couple to give a “thank you” speech. For example, they could say something like “big thanks to everybody who could attend our special day!” Or, you can say, “big thanks to our sweet children for throwing us a wonderful anniversary party.”

“Big thanks” is also acceptable when you want to acknowledge and thank all of the people who had a big role in putting on the event. For instance, it is okay to say, “Big thanks to our sweet children for throwing us a wonderful anniversary party.” You can also say, “Big thanks to the caters, photographers, and the band.”

These are all appropriate situations to use this phrase in casual conversation. Again, remember that this is a phrase, and you should use it as part of a complete sentence when writing or in more formal contexts. 

In What Context Can You Use “Big Thanks”

Since “big thanks” is semi-formal, it is appropriate to use it in some business emails or announcements to express appreciation. However, it’s best not to use it as a stand-alone expression, as that would result in a sentence fragment.

For example, when‌ talking to a group of people about someone or to the person directly, it is fine to say, “I want to extend a big thanks to Lizzie for all her hard work [etc.].” Or, you can say, “I’d like to give a big thanks to Lizzie for all her hard work [etc.].”

“Big thanks” can also be appropriate for business emails to a coworker or client with whom you may not have a strong connection. Here are some examples:

Subject line: Annual Conference

Dear Steve,

I’d like to send you a big thanks for all of your invaluable help with planning our annual conference. You did a wonderful job coordinating travel and handling the multimedia presentations. 

Best regards,

Tim 

Subject Line: Thanks for the Referral 

Dear Pamela,

Big thanks to you for referring the Holden family and the Walker family to Kerry’s Berry Sweet Floral Designs. We are excited to be a part of their weddings.

To show our gratitude, we’d like to give you 20% off your next purchase. 

Sincerely,

Kerry Dean

Using “Big Thanks” in a Full Sentence

When using the expression “big thanks” in a full sentence, you need a subject and verb. You can add the preposition “for” to describe what somebody did to receive your gratitude. You can also use the preposition “to.” 

These example sentences use the preposition “to”:

  • Braydon and I want to give a big thanks to the firemen who helped our family escape.
  • Lindy started her speech by giving a big thanks to Ruby and Anne.
  • Lester began his toast by saying, “Big thanks to the coaches and players!”

Thes example sentences use the preposition “for”:

  • Mom, I owe you more than a big thanks for being so supportive.
  • Big thanks for helping us fix this, Todd. It made a real difference.
  • Big thanks for inviting Justin and me today.

When Not to Use “Big Thanks”

Although it is okay to use it in some more formal situations as part of a complete thought or sentence, you should not use “big thanks” in academic writing. 

If you’re writing a research paper about electricity, you shouldn’t write something like, “Big thanks to the invention of electricity; we can watch tv, cook, and do laundry all at once.” For situations like this, expressions like “because of” or “on account of” are more appropriate.

There are also casual situations when you should avoid using the phrase, including‌:

  • If someone returned a valuable item you lost, like your wallet or purse.
  • If you’re talking to an authority figure.
  • If someone offered you a job. 
  • If somebody comments on your work ethic. 

What Can You Use Instead of “Big Thanks”?

Since expressions of gratitude are a big part of proper speech, there are many alternatives. These work as well as “big thanks.”

  • Thanks so much.
  • Thanks very much.
  • Many thanks.
  • Thanks a bunch.
  • Thanks a lot.
  • Thanks a million.
  • A million thanks to you.
  • Thanks a ton.
  • Thanks for everything.
  • Huge thanks, everyone.

If you prefer to say something that doesn’t include the word “thanks,” you could say:

  • Big shout out to everyone
  • I really appreciate it.
  • I’m so grateful.
  • I can’t thank you enough.
  • I appreciate your time.
  • I truly appreciate you.
  • You have my gratitude.
  • You made my day.
  • You’re a lifesaver.
  • You’re very kind.

You also could say something more formal:

  • This means a lot to me.
  • I’m touched by your thoughtfulness.
  • I cannot express my appreciation.
  • Words cannot express how grateful I am.
Image by Brett Jordan via Unsplash

Expressions of Gratitude as Minor Sentences

English native speakers turn many expressions of gratitude into minor sentences since the subject and object are clear. Minor sentences can be interjections, declarative statements, or imperative clauses.

However, minor sentences are not exactly complete sentences since complete sentences always contain a subject and verb and express a complete thought. In contrast, minor sentences lack either a verb or a subject.

Many expressions of gratitude that include the word “thanks” function as a stand-alone interjection, as in “Big thanks!” Interjections are words or phrases we use when we emotionally exclaim something, such as “Wow!” and “Uh oh!” (source). Since they usually have no real grammatical value, it’s okay to use them in casual speech. 

You can use “Big thanks” as an abbreviated declarative statement too. Declarative statements make declarations instead of exclamations or questions, passing on information.

It is also acceptable to use imperative expressions when you want to ask a person to accept your gratitude. We use an imperative verb to express a request or command, forming an imperative clause: “Please accept my deepest gratitude.”

Phrases and Clauses

Phrases and clauses are both groups of two or more words that convey ideas. However, clauses have both a subject and a verb, while phrases do not.

Phrases are often part of clauses, though. Although they add meaning to sentences, sentences can exist without a phrase as long as there is a subject and a verb.

There are two types of clauses — independent clauses and dependent clauses — and both contain a subject and verb. An independent clause expresses a complete thought, whereas a dependent clause doesn’t (source). 

For instance, you can tell if the clause is dependent when words like “if,” “although,” “because,” “before,” or “even if” are at the beginning.  

Many expressions of gratitude are clauses. For example, “I thank you” is an independent clause. “Thank” is the verb, “I” is the subject, and “you” serves as the direct object, so it’s a complete thought. However, “Big thanks” is not a complete thought, so we can consider it a phrase. 

This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.

For more information on expressions of gratitude, read “Is It Correct to Say ‘Thanks a Lot’?” “Is It Correct to Say ‘Thanks a Ton’?” and “Is It Correct to Say, ‘Thanks a Million’?” 

Final Thoughts 

Expressing what you are thankful for and how it helped you will make others feel more than special. Though “Big thanks” might seem acceptable, it is best to only use it for speeches, announcements, casual conversation, and some business emails as part of a complete sentence.